World's oldest Sumatran orangutan dies aged 62

Federico Mansilla
Junio 20, 2018

THE oldest Sumatran Orang-utan in the world passed away yesterday at Perth Zoo.

The world's oldest known Sumatran orangutan died Monday at the Perth Zoo in Australia.

Puan was put down at Perth Zoo after developing age-related complications.

"Apart from being the oldest member of our colony, she was also the founding member of our world-renowned breeding program and leaves an incredible legacy", said Holly Thompson, the zoo's primate supervisor in a statement.

Puan was awarded a Guinness Book of Records in 2016 for being the oldest verified Sumatran Orangutan in the world.

As the founder of our world renowned breeding program her legacy is phenomenal with descendants living all over the world.

As the mother of 11 children, Puan's genetics account for just under 10% of the global zoological population, according to Perth Zoo.

"We all know that life isn't infinite, but for some reason Puan has always just seemed to be the one who might prove us wrong", Ms Hart wrote in The West Australian newspaper.

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"Puan taught me patience, she taught me that natural and wild instincts never disappear in captivity".

In an op-ed to the West Australian, zookeeper Martina Hart remembered Puan as "the maker of the most unbelievable nests, and the lady who took no nonsense from her children over the years, but was also the most nurturing mother we had".

"She did so much for the colony at Perth Zoo and the survival of her species, so I am very proud of the level of care given to Puan throughout her years, but importantly in her final days". She was in a zoo environment, but to the end she always maintained her independence.

Puan's zookeeper said she was an aloof and independent individual.

She even exhibited those motherly mannerisms toward her zookeepers.

The illegal trade in bushmeat - killing apes and monkeys for their flesh - is also decimating the animals, as is changing climates and diseases spread from humans to apes.

The two countries most at risk are Indonesia and Madagascar, with 83 per cent and 93 per cent of species threatened, respectively.

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